Category Archives: Village of The Isle Of Ely

Haddenham

On a grey day when rain was a probability opposed to a possibility I set out for Haddenham In The Isle of Ely Cambridgeshire. You can give your imagination a treat by dreaming of undulating landscapes and mountainous regions as Haddenham sits on a ridge in The Isle at a staggering 121 feet (“In old money”).

Holy Trinity Church Haddenham CambridgeshireHoly Trinity Church

Before the fens were drained Haddenham was the main entrance into The Isle of Ely from Aldreth Causeway so it was of significant importance, its population was the largest with the exception of Littleport and Thorny, today it has to contend with articulated vehicles escaping the A14 on their way between Huntingdon and Newmarket.

Porch House Hillrow Haddenham Cambridgeshire

Porch House, Hillrow

In 1612 the Lord of the manor was none other than Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk, Lord Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire and Chancellor of the University of Cambridge whose daughter Frances was implicated in the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury. It gave him the entitlement to hold a market and fair in Aldreth and Haddenham.

If you are of a campanological bent you may be interested to know there was bell foundry in Haddenham between 1665 and 1680, producing bells for Witchford and other villages in Cambridgeshire.

In March 1947 the whole of the western end of the parish was severely effect by the great floods.


Web Links:

Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk

Sir Thomas Overbury

Haddenham and Aldreth Parish Council Web Site

Floods of 1947

Porch House, Hillrow


Coveney Cambridgeshire

Coveney sits 43 feet above sea level overlooking Ely Cathedral in the east. It was a small island in the fens a long time before The Earl of Bedford and Cornelius Vermuyden ever dreamt of  draining  the Cambridgeshire Fens.

Mansion Farm House

Mansion Farm House

If the name of Coveney evokes a land fit for Lucifer’s Angles think again, it derives  its name from “island in the bay” and was once the home of Aethelswyth, daughter of the Noble Saxon Oswi, who came here with her maidens to work on her embroidery and weaving in the early 11 century.

The Village Sign , Showing a image of Aethelswyth

The Village Sign , Showing a image of Aethelswyth

The Church of St Peter ad Vincula dates back to the 13th century and its tower can be seen sitting proud as you approach the village from Wardy Hill in the north west. There is a village pond where you can sit on a summers day and take in the extensive views across the fens to Ely. Beside the pond is situated the village lockup, this was used in a time gone bye to store the village bier that carried the coffins to the Church. Mansion Farm House  which is the oldest house in the village lies just north of the church and it is said to have been built around the same time, there was a National School for both boys  and girls, the property is now used as a Bed and Breakfast.

The  Village Lockup and Seat Next to The Village Pound

The Village Lockup and Seat Next to The Village Pound

The celebrated, controversial, disputatious Dr. Conyers Middleton was rector of Coveney between 1725 and 1728, his first wife’s granddaughter was Elizabeth Montagu the British social reformer, who helped organize and lead the bluestocking Society, she was a frequent visitor to the Middletons in Cambridgeshire in younger days.

Views of The Church of St Peter ad Vincula

The Old National School House

The School House and The Old School


Related Web Links:

St Peter-ad-Vincula, Coveney

Cambridgeshire History Online Coveney

British History Online Coveney with Manea

Trinity College Chapel, Conyers Middleton

Elizabeth Montagu

The Old Scholl Bed and Breakfast


Wilburton, Cambridgeshire

Wilburton sits north of The Great River Ouse on the southern ridge of The Isle of Ely between Newmarket in the south east and Huntingdon in the west.

Ideal for Mr Collins and Charlotte.

It is true today as it was in the nineteenth century that it is “a very neat place.” In times past you would have found three public houses, a bakers, a butcher shop, a Blacksmiths and a Railway Station, today it boast a general store and post office, The Kings Head Public House, Two Motor Engineering Workshops and a Garden Centre which incorporates a Restaurant and coffee shop.

The Baptist Chapel was built in 1843 and has become a centre for village life in recent years. The Church of St Peters lies at the west end of the Village and is part of The Grunty Fen Parish of Churches, it is a fine edifice to the glory of God and it has to be said that we have always found it open when visiting.

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Wilburton is endowed with some very fine houses including the manor house which dates back to the sixteen hundreds.

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The History of the village is as rich as the fenland soil that surrounds it and has connections with the Kings of England. Between 1486 to 1500 Bishop Alcock of Ely was Lord of the Manor, He entertained King Henry VII and the young Prince Henry soon to be known for His many wife’s and The Dissolution of The Monasteries, when they came to visit the shrine of St Etheldreda at Ely.


Web Links:
Visit Ely: Wilburton
British History Online: Wilburton